Firefighters encourage practicing fire drills
During Fire Prevention Week, firefighters are encouraging families to practice a fire drill at their home.
COATESVILLE >> During Fire Prevention Week, firefighters are encouraging families to practice a fire drill at their home.
Coatesville area firefighters noted that statistics show that one in five parents regularly practices fire escape plans at home, and only half of parents report that their children know what to do in the event of a fire. Yet, home fires are the biggest disaster threat facing American families today, firefighters said, with nine in 10 structure fires occurring in the home and more than eight in 10 fire-related deaths resulting from home fires.
To raise awareness of this issue and encourage families to be more prepared when it comes to fire safety, Coatesville IAFF Local 3790 Firefighters have partnered with Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program to launch a new national observance day – Home Fire Drill Day – on Oct. 15. Home Fire Drill Day will occur on the last day of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week which runs through Saturday.
Coatesville IAFF Local 3790 Firefighters noted this is the first time that like-minded parties from the public and private sector are collaborating on this single, life-saving call to action. Home Fire Drill Day tips include:
• Prepare for the practice by drawing out a plan based on the exits around the home.
• Pick a family safety spot that’s near your home and a safe distance away.
• Test your smoke alarms with your kids so they know what the beep sounds like.
• For children under 6, assign an adult to help them.
• Use a timer to ensure everyone is at the safety spot in two minutes or less, this is how much time a family has to safely exit the house in the event of a fire.
“When a fire happens at home, children can become frightened and hide,” said Battalion Chief Jim Lentz, and secretary of IAFF L-3790. “It is our hope that by practicing for these emergencies, by educating our children, we can save lives and even have a little fun while doing it.”
Firefighters said that by nature, simulating an emergency like a fire drill can be scary, but by infusing fun into the at-home practice, parents can help their children feel safer should a fire actually happen.
With the help of expert partners, Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program has developed a series of interactive fire drill games available at www.HomeFireDrillDay.com that parents can play with their children – from racing the clock, to practicing in the dark or to crawling out of the house as quickly as possible.
Coatesville firefighters encourage everyone in the community to participate in “Home Fire Drill Day” on Saturday and to make it an annual tradition.
Additionally, smoke detectors are required in every single and multifamily dwelling unit. Detectors are required on every floor, in every bedroom and outside the bedrooms of the home. Carbon monoxide detectors are also recommended and should be installed in an area near the bedrooms of a house.